If I Were King – Part II (Airport Edition)

Posted: November 20, 2009 in People We Might Want to Waterboard, Uncategorized

By Your Royal Highness Anthony Liebrandt

I’m still not King, but it will happen.   I predicted it a few months ago in If I Were King…   Nothing in recent events have persuaded me that I should not plan for that eventuality.    As a subject in my kingdom you might as well get used to my new rules, so consider the following an Edict Draft for the proper behavior I will expect out of my many subjects as you travel in my airports and on my planes.The empathy that I’m showing You the Subjects by penning these Edicts now is that once I have ascended to the Throne, I will no longer care about these peasantry behaviors, but if I can record it now while I’m still just a commoner it will be fresh and ready to go.      

The lady on the left standing still will make a nice meal for some hungry sharks. The old man on the right will need to pick up the pace or he could be eaten by my alligators. A GETTY Photo.

EDICT 1:    No Standing on a Moving Walkway

(or as Brits refer to it,  The Travelator – and yes my kingdom will include you too, UK)

There will be nothing more despised in my Kingdom than standing still on a Moving Walkway.    If airport foot traffic consultants had wanted people to do anything other than walk on the Moving Walkway they would have named the hundred yard long conveyor belts Block-The-Right-with-your-Big-Ass-Block-the-Left-with-Your-Gigantic-Roller-Bag-Way.    

Confirming my suspicions, researchers from prestigious Universities like Princeton are now suggesting that it actually takes people longer to get through the airport using the Walkways.   I will be benevolent as King in many charitable areas, but not in this particular area.    Violators will be placed on a mile long walkway and forced to run in the the opposite direction of the belts.   If they are in good shape they will be fine.    But, if they can’t keep up, at the end of the belt there will be a slow flowing stream stocked with alligators.   That stream will flow into a shark tank, guarded at its banks by a family of lions.   

EDICT 2:   No Exiting the Plane Out of Turn

Planes have rows and while different airlines have different procedures on what order people board the plane.     When exiting the plane, you will debark from the first row to the last.   No exceptions, no cutting.   A few years ago I had only sired one male offspring and the future royal family traveled about a lot more than we do today in the era of the Many Dancing Princesses.   Traveling with only one kid is pretty much a piece of cake by comparison.   (As an aside, cake – and bread – will both be bountiful in my Kingdom, as a student of history I know what happened to Marie Antoinette).    

As we exited a plane in the Carolina territory of my future kingdom, this older couple traveling alone sitting in a row behind us quickly jumped out of their seats and stood in front of us in the aisle where they then had to wait for the door to open.    They just had to beat us to the door because we were Those People with a Kid People.  The horror!   As we waited for several minutes at the bag carousel, I look over and there They stood.   They didn’t even have a connecting flight.  Though I will make every effort as king to speed up the bag handling process, not once in the history of man have your bags been waiting for you as you arrived at the bag carousel so do not exit the plane before it is your turn.   

I have not yet identified these two culprits.   If they dare to still be alive during my Reign of Benevolence I will hire 1000 private investigators to search for them so that they can be made examples of throughout the land.  They will likely face a quick trial, a shorter appeal, and then they will be sentenced to serve 1000 hours of community service working in an orphan nursery changing diapers, reading stories and taking plane loads of children on cross-country field trips.     


A giddy Frank Buckles after being told that as the last living survivor of the First World War he gets an automatic preboard all my kingdom's flights. ...Okay vets of WWII and other wars may also preboard.

EDICT 3:   No Getting a pre-board pass for having an ear infection or a sore elbow


Just as you are to exit the plane in an orderly fashion you are also to conduct the pre-board process in an orderly fashion as well.     The proliferation of people in wheelchairs at airports is out of control.   While many folks are truly in need of a kind wheeled escort, there will be strict focus placed on its use.    If you are Frank Bruckles, who at 109 is the last remaining survivor of the first World War, you will get a pre-board pass and a guy named Ed will wheel you everywhere.    If you happened to fight in World War II, you will also get another guy named Ed to personally wheel you about the Terminal.   But, if you did not bear arms for our country and for every other activity in your life you walk about happily often with a skip, than you will be denied access to the pre-board pass, unless you have small children. (I still do, and I like playing that card).    When my children our older, I promise to keep the same policy.   Wink, wink. 

People who feign decrepidness and snag a preboard pass for illegitimate reasons will be wheeled down an eerie dark, damp jetway that is teeming with poisonous snakes.   Instead of being pushed by a nice guy named Ed, they will be pushed by a scary guy in a clown suit who could in fact be employed as an Ice Cream Man.     

EDICT 4:   Wearing flip-flops with jeans so that I have to look at your B.U.F. (Big Ugly Feet)

Of all the fashion trends that have destroyed American culture in the late 20th/early 21st centuries the proliferation of guys that wear jeans with open foot flip-flops is the most damning threat to our culture.   It’s a bigger threat than terrorism.   The foot is without question the most ugly and unsightly appendage on the human body, and especially on the male version of the species.    That’s part of it, but a flip-flop even for the male can be the proper choice of shoe in certain environs, like the beach, a resort, at a picnic – basically anywhere you are also wearing shorts.    If other dynamics force you to wear jeans, than you also need to get a pair of socks and some sneakers and cover those ugly things up.  

I’m sure that most people will quickly comply, but for violators of this Edict they should expect a quick judgement and the damnation of having to live in a giant shoe.   Picture Patrick Ewings shoe after a Knick game.   The foul odor of the big shoe will keep you up at night, which is a good thing because in the dark corners of the shoe lurks a denizen of black widow spiders spinning their silky deathtrap webs.     

EDICT 5:   Browsing your stupid People Sytlewatch magazine after 10pm on a late flight

When you are traveling late at night on a commercial plane, the roar of loud engines and the skyward thrust can be quite sleep inducing.   It is natural to nod off and sleep through the first call for service by the airline waitresses.   Maybe your long flight will be considerably shortened if you can sleep through most of it?  And then it happens, the lady behind you turns on her reading light.   Manufacturers of airline reading lights never quite grasped the importance of directional light flow, because when one lady is bored silly, her decision floods light in every direction across three rows of sleeping passengers.    Now oddly, some people are wired so that they elicit nary a flinch to the introduction of light over those three rows.    But, not your future King.      

It would be one thing if this culprit was right in the middle of an Oprah endorsed story that has all of the sisterhood a buzz, but instead she just pulled out People Magazine Stylewatch edition because she just has to know who’s wearing a puffy vest to Hollywood coffee shops.   At 10pm.  

Now my kingdom will have very high fashion standards, but you will not need to be piqued on them at 10pm on a cross-country flight.   If you have to violate this Edict, just understand that the penalty for turning on your reading light and waking up the entire plane is you will be taken to Shawshank Prison and lined up against a wall and subjected to torture by dozens of prison flood lights.    And further, you will be barred from ever getting to wear Carrie Underwood’s Puffy Vest.    

"Plaid Tights, Leather Jacket, Knee High Boots, Puffy Vest. What are the It Girls wearing right now? I'm going to turn on my reading light to look in People Stylewatch magazine to find out." ...Not in my Kingdom!!

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